[ExI] Blackford and Egan on >H

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 13:54:43 UTC 2008

On Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 9:08 AM, nvitamore at austin.rr.com
<nvitamore at austin.rr.com> wrote:
>  No!  My mistake!  I sent an email last night saying I left out the "not".
>  I'm just tired.  If you rad the previous sentence it says "does not mean we
>  forfeit our species ..."
>  >but H+ was [not] intended to become another
>  > species.

Becoming another species? Mmhhh, diacronically speaking the concept of
species - as defined as the occurring of "natural" interbreeding - has
a few problem itself. And of course it does not even vaguely apply to
any kind of non-biological future.

But *speciating*, meaning evolving in multiple, and possibly diverging
directions, including at a biological level, is fine with me.

Sure, this may have little to do with a reduction in our ability to
interbreed (by the way, even purely ethological reproductive
segregation is enough to define a species), especially since the
specific barriers are going to fall in general for the living world
for all practical purposes; but this does not prevent us to identify
different "species" among protozoas that reproduce by mitosis.

And I do not really see what all the specieist rhetorics about being
"human" is about. Humanity being a conventional term, it may well be
used to indicate all our biological descendants much beyond any
reasonable point of recognition or (theoretical) ability to
interbreed, and it would not change much in the fact that they might
end up being more different from us than we are from the first mammals
appeared on Earth.

That this may be unacceptable by some sectors of the mainstream public
(many of whom may not even accept the fact of being "descended from
apes") indicates more the cultural biases in the same public, than
some fundamental PR mistake of those who do not find anything special
in such a prospective.

Stefano Vaj

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